As soon as I stepped off the G train at India just a few minutes ago I saw Manhattan Avenue closed off with heavy police activity. I ran into my girl Emily Rawlings and she wondered what was going on as did a lot of other people. What I’ve been able to dig up thus far:

A guy in a stolen car was being chased by police down Manhattan Avenue when he ran over and killed a woman in her twenties dragging her down to Dupont. The Avenue is closed from Java through what appears to be to the end, like Ash or Box. There is heavy police activity with more detectives than I’ve seen on a Law and Order episode. This is just horrible.

Any other info, feel free to comment or email me. I didn’t take any pictures with all the police around so if anyone has shots, feel free to send them to me and I will update this post.

My heart goes out to this woman and her family. I’ll keep my ears and eyes open.

Update @ 6:20pm: Some more info via Gothamist:


An alert came over the newswire not long ago regarding an accident investigation at Manhattan Avenue and India Street in Greenpoint, where at least one victim has been transported to Bellevue Hospital. A reader has just sent in the above photo, and we’re hearing rumors that “the driver of one of the vehicles struck a woman on Huron Street and was fleeing the scene, and caused this pile up. From what the police were saying, it appears that the woman in critical condition at this scene was an occupant of one of the cars on the bottom of the pile.”

Update @ 6:45pm: Another image via reader Keith Adams:

I couldn’t help but think that she might have a husband, boyfriend, partner etc who is at work and doesn’t even know that she is dead. Very sad.

The update mentions that the victim might have been in one of the cars but that is not the case because when I was buying some pet food at Pets On The Run the guy there told me he saw her land in front of his store.

She was hit at the corner of India and flew nearly all the way down to Huron – the length of about 9 storefronts.

He told me that she was in really, really bad shape.

Such a tragedy.

Update @ 7:05pm: From reader Dave –

Hey – I would hate to spread rumors regarding the crime scene on Manhattan Ave, so please know this is unconfirmed info. I live on Eagle Street and after being dropped off by the B61 running on an abridged schedule due to “policy activity” I stopped into the bodega on Green and Manhattan Ave. The worker at the bodega told me a PREGNANT woman was struck and killed up near CTown. The driver fled in his car down Manhattan Ave, shooting at police and eventually losing control and crashing into the pictured SUV at Dupont Ave. If this is the case I am truly sickened for that woman’s family. ///dave

I sincerely hope that this is not the case. An already awful tragedy made just that much awful would really be too much.

From what I’ve gathered so far – all of it just really neighborhood snippets at this point – it seems that a stolen car that was being chased by the cops hit a young woman somewhere around India & Huron. The driver then lost control of the white minivan and crashed into parked cars along Manhattan Ave at Dupont. I pray that it was not a pregnant woman. And this is also the first time I’m hearing about shots being fired. But Laura Hofmann sent out the following email and photos via the CB1 list mentioning there was a shooting near Nassau Avenue today as well, so I’m wondering if these are related incidents?

I came home from school to learn that there had been a shootout on Nassau Ave. A car chase down Manhattan Ave. A young girl hit & killed. And three cars piled onto each other across from my building.

The captain of the 94th can stand on his head from now until doomsday and he won’t convince me that there’s no crime problem happening in Greenpiont. We’re not even half way through 2009 and Greenpoint has a long list of problems going on!

Update @ 7:27pm: The Gazette is reporting now:

Here at the Gazette office we’ve been following this story for hours. Our own Khristina has been on the phone with DCPI all afternoon trying to figure out what really happened. We’ve been to both crime scenes, so check out our blog for details. We will update the post as more information comes in:

Update 4.28.09 @ 10:30am

ABC News has picked up the story a little and identifies the woman killed as 37 year old Violetta Krzyzak and says the Dodge Caravan was stolen from Jackson Street.

The Daily News also ran an article. They state Violetta as a 38 year old Polish immigrant and mother from Huron Street. The driver is being identified as Jose Maldonado but there’s no information on why unmarked cop vehicles were chasing him.

I’d be surprised if just a stolen minivan sparked a police chase by detectives unless they were right there when it happened. Clearly there would be a reason for that… It also seems no one else has heard about a shooting on Nassau Avenue that I can find. This story has a really tragic ending but I just get the feeling there has to be more to this than just a stolen car.

The New York Post chimes in and reports that the driver is from Manhattan. And also that he suffered a broken toe. God damn piece of shit deserves a broken neck.

Join the Conversation


  1. I am on Manhattan Avenue and India. I heard the impact – without being too graphic, the victim’s flip flops were picked up at the crossing here whilst the body was collected the next block down at Manhattan and Huron.

  2. My husband looked out the window as soon as he heard the crash downstairs. He said there was no girl dragged to Dupont.Yeah, the stories get a little twisted but hopefully over the next day or so the newspapers will get a chance to speak with the cops and find out what exactly happened. Most of the info I got from this post was from emails, friends and people on the street.

    I’m glad to hear she was not dragged.

  3. I stopped on my way home this afternoon and asked the owner of the liquor store on Manhattan between India and Huron what happened. He told me that a woman, who he heard was pregnant, was hit crossing the street at India and flew threw the air (he made a big arc with his arm) and landed on Manhattan, close to Huron. He also said that the car kept going and plowed into those parked cars, as shown on Gothamist and that’s when it stopped and the driver was caught. He also said the woman was injured very badly and he heard she would not make it.

    So sad.

  4. Justine – sobering news all the more shocking for being so close to home. After I saw you I heard there'd been a chase & a woman got hit but just didn't process that she could be dead. Knew you'd get to the bottom of it.
    She must have been a neighbor.

  5. Can’t find anything about possible “shootout” on Nassau Ave. If this is the case, it’s scary how once again, another shooting falls under the radar of every news outlet except a few local blogs?

  6. I was at the playground in McKarren park when the white van started speeding up Manhattan Ave. people had to run away from the street so they would not get hit. he was followed by an undercover police car. the whole thing is very sad and shocking and I really wonder if chasing a car into such a busy area is the only thing that can be done to get the guy. an accident was a sure thing to happen considering the speed of this car. the car was stolen I heard, ok. but now there might even be a dead young woman.

  7. I live on India and arrived about 30 minutes after it happened. The cops said the driver was going 85mph down Manhattan Ave. It’s a miracle that at that speed and time of day that only one person was killed.

  8. talked to the guy who owns pets on the run on manhattan ave yesterday and he said he ran out of the store immediately when he heard the crash. he said seeing that woman on the ground was something he would never forget and he could not sleep or eat afterwards.

  9. This is a HORRIBLE TRADGEY..I know the woman that was killed..Her hame was Violetta Krzyzak..We called her Viola..She had a beautiful daughter and husband who lived with her in Brooklyn, just around the corner from where she died.. She would have been 41 years old today April 29th..She was young and beautiful both inside and out..She was a very kind and giving young woman who will be missed by everyone who had the privilage of knowing her..This was a true waste of a human life..She had so much to offer..I pray that this terrible criminal that took her away from her friends and family be prosecuted and given the maximum sentence for killing another human being…

  10. hi-
    i’ve read about the chase on,,, and i’ve been told it was mentioned in the post, but i didn’t see it there. basically the story was not covered, like so many stories, and has already faded into the past. i’m haunted by it (yes, with full knowledge of all of the other terrible stuff going on in the world), maybe because it took place in my neighborhood. 3 of my friends, separately, witnessed it so i know for a fact that the police really did act in an inexplicably ludicrous manner by pursuing that minivan. i am not experienced in caring about stuff like this so i don’t know the correct procedure for complaint, but i did find one supposed venue for it in case anyone is interested:

  11. I was home at the time and when I heard the impact I ran to the window. I remember EXACTLY what I saw, and i don't think I will ever forget it. I saw her land on the ground, and it didn't really hit me what happened 'till a couple of mins later[I'm guessing 'cause I', still young]. After realizing that she dead[or dieing] I had a panic attack. I now get them randomly. The women and her family are still in my prayers.

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